The electrocardiogram (EKG) technician career path is one of the most popular unlicensed allied health professions available in the healthcare sector. The fact that technicians in this specialty are responsible for delivering care to complex patients who suffer from a variety of heart diseases means that the salary offered to individuals in this field often exceeds that of technicians who work in a more generalized area of practice. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a cardiovascular technologist can expect to earn a median salary of about $50,000 per year with some taking home as much as $80,000 annually. An individual who plans to pursue this career path should be aware of the different factors that can affect their ability to earn a competitive compensation package before they start applying to positions.
Employers in the healthcare sector are similar to those in other industries when it comes to offering a certain level of preference to applicants who have prior experience with patient care. Someone who has demonstrated an affinity for delivering high quality and compassionate care is far more likely to become a reliable and productive employee over the long-term. In addition, patients greatly prefer to interact with technicians who are friendly and who express empathy towards those who may be suffering from severe and complex illness. Individuals who are brand new to the medical field and who have not had a chance to prove themselves will find that it can be difficult to compete against applicants who are more experienced and who have formal credentials from previous employment.
One of the best ways to strengthen ones resume and secure a more competitive compensation package is to work as an entry-level medical assistant or nurses aide for a couple of years prior to applying to an open technician position in the cardiovascular department. These initial years of employment provide a great way for mastering the basics of patient care while working to gain the support and trust of those who may be able to help make the transition to a more specialized field. Many medical facilities will also help individuals acquire formal certification in patient care as a means for demonstrating the technical competence required to provide entry-level care. Although these credentials may not be directly related to cardiac care, they can help an individual stand out from applicants who have no credentials.
Aside from experience and credentials, the best approach for optimizing the EKG technician salary is to focus on applying for employment at organizations that offer the most desirable compensation options. Establishments that operate in heavily populated areas or Coastal states are more likely to have the kind of human resources budget required to pay enough to attract the most qualified applicants. Although many people are willing to accept lower pay in order to remain in a rural area or Midwestern state, the technician who wants to earn the most money possible will likely need to consider relocating to a city or metropolitan area.
Other important strategies for improving an individuals earning power is to try to work more hours and to accept managerial responsibilities if they are offered. Technicians who have been hired to work part-time or who are only available to work a few hours each week should not expect to earn the same salary as someone who is employed on a full-time basis. Those who have a few years of experience in cardiac care and who are interested in taking on administrative tasks may be able to boost their earnings if the option to fill a management position becomes available. These types of opportunities may require an additional level of EKG technician training, but they can dramatically increase the amount of compensation that an individual receives.
Individuals who are considering this profession as a viable career option are encouraged to become active in their local industry organizations and begin networking with those who have worked in the field for several years and who can offer encouragement and advice along the way. A proactive approach to career advancement is the best strategy for acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills required to succeed in the healthcare sector. This strategy also demonstrates a passion for high quality care that will be noticed by administrative personnel and patients.